Tidal Energy

Poole Tidal Energy Partnership (PTEP)

Sharing the power of the tide with the community of Poole

Twice every day, between 30,400 to 45,000 cubic metres of water enters and then leaves Poole Harbour.

Poole Quay

A transition to a low-carbon economy is much more difficult to achieve in a built up area than in the rural environment (no chance to put up big wind turbines for example). Transition Town Poole is keen to work with everyone in the local area to make the most of the natural resource that flows right around our busy town.

A recent study of tidal power around the coast of Britain went across the mouth of Poole Harbour, but took no notice of the opportunities for the water within. Those of us who try and fight the tide in small boats know its power, especially at the entrance, and the mouth of Holes Bay and Lychett Bay.

The energy needs of Poole are significant, but this highly predictable source of power is literally on our doorstep.

Ebb tide in brownsea road

Ebb tide in brownsea road

Our three key aims are

  • to commission a study of the potential for, and prove the scale of extractable heat and/or electricity generation capacity within the harbour. In Scandanvia, they have extracted heat from seawater for decades to power heat pumps warming major cities. These work like a fridge in reverse, and use a fraction of the energy of direct heating.
  • to develop as a Community Interest organisation to generate power and/or extract heat to support the local community, including potential district heating solutions. Any development will need to be sensitive to the impact on the marine environment, balanced with the benefits of using locally sourced renewable energy
  • to plough surpluses back into further energy saving and green energy production projects in our town.

The harbour is a jewel along the south coast. Loved for boating, wildlife, a commercial port, a holiday destination and surrounded by nature reserves. Any scheme will need to be sensitive to these competing demands, being sensitive to the impact on the marine environment, balanced with the benefits of using local renewable energy.

Rather than rely on energy generated far away from oil, coal, gas and nuclear, we need your help to establish what can be achieved right here.

We already have interest from

  • Transition Town Poole
  • Poole Harbour Commissioners
  • Carter Community School
  • DEAC – Dorset Energy Advice Centre
  • Poole Housing Partnership – providing social housing across the area
  • Bournemouth University – Green Knowledge Economy centre
  • Borough of Poole
  • Association of Sustianability Practitioners (ASP)
  • Rockley Park – Caravan Holiday Park
  • Business Link

We are working on the plans from  technical, organisational and environmental considerations. The timescales for the project align well to the academic years, so we are supporting a range of interesting student projects around aspects of our proposals, working with the Borough of Poole and with three schools from Bournemouth University.

  • Sustainable Design Research Centre
  • Business School
  • School of Environmental Law


We have set up as a Community Interest Company (with five voluntary directors), and now have a website for the partnership www.ptep.co.uk, and a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn






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